Donating to One Versus Millions: Increasing Donations Through Appeal Types, Exposure, And Donor Characteristics



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Often, being an effective advocate means helping as many animals as possible, but evidence is mixed about whether this is the most effective way to solicit donations. Psychological research has found that people are often more willing to give to an “identifiable victim,” which suggests that a single individual who represents the cause, like Hope the Pig, may encourage more donations than a statistic about the number of individuals suffering. At the same time, the type of people who are willing to donate to farmed animals may differ in their motivations from those who donate to other causes, like companion animals.

In this study, we tested the impact of a donation appeal for farmed vs. companion animals using a single individual versus statistics about total suffering. The results include a comparison of those appeals as well as data about overall levels of donation to farmed and companion animals, and the types of donors who support them.


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